UFC issues statement on fight being investigated for suspicious betting behavior

A fight that took place at UFC Vegas 64 is currently under investigation by a firm that monitors suspicious betting behaviors after lines shifted dramatically in the hours leading up to the matchup between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke.

As first reported by ESPN, U.S. Integrity — a company that identifies “suspicious behavior by analyzing changes in betting data against a benchmark of normal betting activity” — has started looking into the the odds for the fight, which saw Minner balloon from a +170 underdog at opening to a +330 underdog by the time the action started.

The fight ended after Minner threw a kick in the opening round and then immediately began favoring his leg after suffering an apparent injury. Nuerdanbieke finished him just moments later with the official stoppage coming at 1:07 into the fight.

According to reports, money poured in on Nuerdanbieke to win by knockout with additional money hammering the line for the fight to last under 2.5 rounds with some sportsbooks actually removing the action from the board.

In the aftermath of that investigation being revealed, the UFC issued a statement that the promotion is also looking into the situation but had no evidence that either fighter or their teams were involved in any suspicious activity surrounding the bout. The statement was first issued to Yahoo Sports.

“Like many professional sports organizations, UFC works with an independent betting integrity service to monitor wagering activity on our events,” UFC officials said. “Our betting integrity partner, Don Best Sports, a leading global supplier of real-time betting data for North American sporting events, will conduct a thorough review of the facts and report its findings.

“At this time, we have no reason to believe either of the athletes involved in the bout, or anyone associated with their teams, behaved in an unethical or irresponsible manner.”

The unusual betting on the fight reportedly started a few hours earlier with money pouring into the sportsbooks, which led to the alert being sent to U.S. Integrity to monitor the situation. Even with the dramatic shift in odds, money was apparently still being wagered against Minner and the line for the fight ending in under 2.5 rounds.

U.S. Integrity does not maintain any power to punish potentially illegal behavior but the company can report irregular results to regulators as well as state authorities in Nevada where the fight was held.

At this time, the investigation is still ongoing along with the UFC now monitoring the situation as well.

The investigation comes just days after the UFC updated its own code of conduct policy that now prohibits athletes from wagering on fights. UFC president Dana White later stated that the change in policy had nothing to do with any bad behavior or direct issues with fighters placing wagers on bouts in the organization.

“Gambling is opening up everywhere in every state,” White said at the UFC 280 post-fight press conference. “People who regulate gambling don’t think it’s a good idea for fighters to be betting on themselves, and I agree.

“It just shouldn’t happen. It should never happen. It doesn’t look good. [It’s] more optics than anything.”